Following a wave of resignations from his government, Boris Johnson is set to announce his exit from Downing Street later on today.
A source at No 10 said Johnson had spoken to the chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, and agreed to stand down, with a new Tory leader set to be in place by the party’s conference in October.
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SKy News reports: But several MPs are calling for a caretaker prime minister to be brought in to stop Johnson leading throughout the summer.
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A Number 10 spokesman confirmed the PM would make a statement today, and Paymaster General Michael Ellis told the Commons it would come “shortly”.
The confirmation of Mr Johnson’s departure came after his newly appointed Education Secretary Michelle Donelan resigned following just 36 hours in the post, and new Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi told the prime minister to “go now”.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace also said he had withdrawn his support for the PM, and earlier, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis resigned from his post.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was “good news for the country” that Mr Johnson was stepping down, adding: “It should have happened long ago.”
There has been intense pressure on Mr Johnson to quit after more than 50 resignations from all levels of government, and waves of backbenchers appealing for him to go.
The mass rebellion began on Tuesday after Downing Street admitted the PM knew about allegations of inappropriate behaviour against disgraced former Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher in 2019, but still appointed him in February.